ALTON - The Alton Parks and Recreation Department has been awarded a $125,000 matching playground grant through the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA), Playcore and their affiliates GameTime and Cunningham Recreation, for the inclusive playground project in Gordon Moore Park.

Representatives from IPRA, Playcore, and their affiliates met to evaluate the applications. “We thought the Alton Parks and Recreation application was stellar and scored exceedingly well compared to their peers”, said Debbie Trueblood, Illinois Parks and Recreation Executive Director. 

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Phillips 66 recently partnered with the City of Alton Parks and Recreation Department by donating $125,000 toward the new playground project.  This custom, one-of-a-kind playground will be universally accessible and inclusive for children of all abilities. “We are truly lucky to have such a wonderful opportunity placed in front of us with the donation from Phillips 66 and the grant from IPRA. All members of our community will get access to some of the newest, cutting edge all-inclusive playground equipment in the market”, said Alton Mayor Brant Walker.

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IPRA, PlayCore and GameTime are aligning resources and strategically partnering to promote state-wide implementation of research-based professional development and regional action grant projects to positively impact the quality of life across the state of Illinois. To help communities put research into action and promote quality of life across Illinois, GameTime is providing up to $1 million in matching funds to assist applicants in each region install a pre-approved playground space that will serve as a National Demonstration Site. The city of Alton will now play host to one of these sites, being the only one in southern Illinois.

Addition funding is still needed to complete the project. “Although, we now have $250,000 to go towards playground equipment, we still need an additional $50,000 to fulfill the amenities needed around the playground such as benches, shade structures, water fountains, and picnic tables.”, says Haynes. 

A fundraising campaign will be launched in conjunction with the new concession/restroom/pavilion project near the entrance of Gordon Moore Park. This park was built by the community for the community and we need the support of the community to finish out this potentially amazing project.

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